Missing feathers on *entire* underbelly and around vent - help!

beatriceanddaisy

In the Brooder
May 20, 2020
14
17
39
Greater Seattle Area, WA
As the title says, my 1.5 year old RI Red is missing feathers on her entire underbelly and around vent. It wasn't until we picked her up and looked that we saw the extent of the missing feathers (click through to see close-up):



She lives with 4 other hens, none of whom have any noticeable butt feather loss. I've never seen any other chickens pecking her. In terms of environment, we live in the Pacific Northwest where its been warm and exceptionally dry for about 5 months.

She's acting normally, eating, laying, etc.

I'm a newer chicken owner and we haven't dealt with much yet but based on Google searches I don't see signs of vent gleet or lice. If it were mites, wouldn't the other chickens have them too?

Should we take her to a vet? What's going on? Any advice or thoughts much appreciated!
 

Chicken poppy

Songster
May 9, 2021
1,238
3,589
241
Connecticut
As the title says, my 1.5 year old RI Red is missing feathers on her entire underbelly and around the vent. It wasn't until we picked her up and looked that we saw the extent of the missing feathers (click through to see close-up):



She lives with 4 other hens, none of whom have any noticeable butt feather loss. I've never seen any other chickens pecking her. In terms of environment, we live in the Pacific Northwest where its been warm and exceptionally dry for about 5 months.

She's acting normally, eating, laying, etc.

I'm a newer chicken owner and we haven't dealt with much yet but based on Google searches I don't see signs of vent gleet or lice. If it were mites, wouldn't the other chickens have them too?

Should we take her to a vet? What's going on? Any advice or thoughts much appreciated!
I would take her to a vet to be safe, also, if she did have mites the others could not have them, ive seen it happen before, though its uncommon.

im not to sure, it seems like shes not getting pecked, as its in a very specific spot, it doesnt look like a molt either. Sorry i couldnt help much
 

beatriceanddaisy

In the Brooder
May 20, 2020
14
17
39
Greater Seattle Area, WA
I would take her to a vet to be safe, also, if she did have mites the others could not have them, ive seen it happen before, though its uncommon.

im not to sure, it seems like shes not getting pecked, as its in a very specific spot, it doesnt look like a molt either. Sorry i couldnt help much
Thanks for your reply! I am taking her to the vet tomorrow.
 

beatriceanddaisy

In the Brooder
May 20, 2020
14
17
39
Greater Seattle Area, WA
Update: I took her to the avian vet and she confirmed that it doesn't appear to be any kind of paraiste. Vet confirmed that she's pulling out the feathers herself, and this is actually a normal (though not common) reproductive behavior that some prolific layer breeds such as RI Reds have at various times in their laying years.

The vet said, "it's the dermatological equivalent of going broody" and that although this is a large number of feathers to be pulling out, she's fine and when her hormones change and the behavior passes, they'll grow back. Who knew!
 

Chicken poppy

Songster
May 9, 2021
1,238
3,589
241
Connecticut
Update: I took her to the avian vet and she confirmed that it doesn't appear to be any kind of paraiste. Vet confirmed that she's pulling out the feathers herself, and this is actually a normal (though not common) reproductive behavior that some prolific layer breeds such as RI Reds have at various times in their laying years.

The vet said, "it's the dermatological equivalent of going broody" and that although this is a large number of feathers to be pulling out, she's fine and when her hormones change and the behavior passes, they'll grow back. Who knew!
im so glad it went well. :love
 

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